3 Aug 2020

Auckland Airport plans to split terminal for safe travel bubble

From Checkpoint, 5:26 pm on 3 August 2020

Auckland Airport has announced its international terminal will be separated into two zones in anticipation of a travel bubble.

"I think it's about being prepared… considering the prospect of potentially some safe travel zones in the future whether to be places like Rarotonga or Australia," Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood told Checkpoint.

There will be physical separation of Pier B of the terminal, with separate processing facilities, he said.

"That leaves our primary Pier A – gates 1 to 10 – free to act as a safe travel zone for outbound travellers and those that might come from safe travel zones.

"As a traveller if you're going to a safe travel zone destination, you will see something that looks really close to normal. Obviously there are processes and protocols we have around hygiene and cleanliness, and other processes that we have in place that will persist.

"There will be shops and other services open," he said.

Auckland Airport was one of the busiest ports in its region in June, but it is still down 85 percent on the last financial year, he said.

"I think it's important that as we did for the return of domestic travel in level 2 and down to level 1, that we are as prepared as we can be. So if the conditions are right we're ready to go.

"It's no doubt going to be challenging for some time and I think what's going to be difficult is every country will be at a different state of readiness depending on their health performance.

"New Zealand's health performance is a real standout globally, and I think that will make us an attractive place to come to but naturally that will very much depend on each of those countries' health performance themselves.

"I think we can see potentially with the domestic travel in New Zealand within our country is you know responded well it's not where it used to be. But people are still keen to travel around and take a break when I can. And we're psyched to do so so we could see that, that sort of pop up in our neck of the woods if we have a safe travel zone established for those kinds of countries."